If you’ve been convicted of a felony and you’re trying to start fresh, getting back into the workforce is a top priority. While finding work as women with felony conviction can be tough, it’s far from impossible. From reimagining your employment prospects to exploring the world of entrepreneurship, you have several options to consider as you search for the perfect job. In this article, we’ll share several practical tips to help you find meaningful work, or even start your own business as a woman with a felony record.

Focus on Skills Development

Developing your skills will increase your employability and encourage employers to overlook your criminal record when you apply for jobs. Skills development is also important if you want to become an entrepreneur. Because college programs can be expensive and require many years to complete, consider online courses and training programs for a faster return on your investment. ReeCareer offers plenty of useful information on available training programs for felons, as well as financial assistance options and resources on entrepreneurship.

Revamp Your Resume

Your resume is one of the most valuable tools at your disposal when looking for work as a felon. Prison Fellowship stresses the importance of updating your resume with any skills, trades, or certifications you have that are relevant to the job. Include things like volunteer work, professional associates you belong to, or any other experience that would make you stand out as a great candidate for the role. If you have gaps in your employment history due to your incarceration, consider organizing your resume to focus on your skills rather than listing your previous work on a timeline. If your current resume exists as a PDF, start looking for a PDF editor online to make your desired changes. This will prevent you from having to create a new resume from scratch.

Consider Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are great for women with felony conviction. These programs help felons develop skills, knowledge, and credentials that are in demand in the labor market, increasing both employability and income potential. Vocational training and apprenticeships can also reduce your risk of reoffending while boosting your self-esteem and confidence. Plus, apprenticeships are great for expanding your personal and professional networks! Start researching apprenticeship programs, such as The Last Mile or local programs provided by your state, and find one that sounds exciting to you!

Start Networking ASAP

Whether you’re looking for work or interested in starting your own business, networking is essential. Confidence and preparation are key for women in networking situations, especially in male-dominated industries. At the same time, try to focus on quality over quantity. The Women’s Network explains that it’s better to build strong connections with a small group of people who can help you reach your goals than to cast a wide net and connect with as many people as possible. For example, if you want to become an entrepreneur, do your best to connect with other small business owners who can help you build credibility and access business opportunities.

Research Support Programs

Various support programs exist for felons looking for work or business opportunities. For example, you can find both nonprofit and corporate grants set aside for formerly incarcerated entrepreneurs. Unlike small business loans, grants provide free funding you do not have to repay, making this a great option for felons who don’t want to take on debt or have trouble qualifying for loans. Be sure to look for grants specifically reserved for female entrepreneurs to maximize your grant opportunities.

While challenging, the journey of finding work as a woman with felony conviction is also filled with potential and promise. By developing your skills, creating a solid resume, joining apprenticeship programs, and networking with people who can offer support and opportunities, you can pave the way for a brighter future!

If you’re looking for your dream job, check out ReeCareer, a resource for jobs, re-entry programs, and career options for people with felony convictions. Take a look around our website to find your next opportunity!

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